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Raiders Draft Review


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36 minutes ago, Darbsk said:

Haha, not a problem....... Like reading well thought out, long posts!!!

The D is the puzzling thing for me too. The vision is clear on offense and as you say, has almost been realised but Guenther was hand picked by Gruden so his scheme is clearly what we want and that seems to be a conservative pass rush, primarily relying on the front 4 to generate pressure and dropping guys in coverage. 

A couple things really frustrate me though, for a base front 4 to be effective without many wrinkles we have to rely on individuals winning matchups, yet we traded away the one elite player we had that could do that and are relying on mid round picks and mid tier FAs such as Key, Crosby, Hurst, Collins, Nassib. If we're not going to be fancy then we need studs and that means cost. Also, we are signing and drafting man to man, bump and run style cover CBs and playing them conservatively off and more than occasionally in soft zones. We don't seem to be playing to guys strengths, thus us compounded by playing Joyner out of position and persevering with Collins when others have shown much, much more. The vision on D is misty to say the least. 

What I really want to see is a D that is innovative, tries to create more turnovers, is aggressive and makes the opposition 'beat us' rather than giving up soft yards. It's a bit late this season now for moves but we must pressure the QB more and to hell with the fear of giving up big plays and playing too far off, we're just getting marched on at the moment and that must be deflating. Pressures, 3rd down stops and turnovers is what I'd like us to have a laser-like focus on.

We are absolutely on the same page when it comes to all of that. The vanilla 4 man front with a soft zone behind it is incredibly frustrating to me. In theory I can see how it makes sense because we trust our offense and want to keep things in front of us and play a bend but don't break style and force teams to make long sustained drives to score points... But the problem is, that hasn't been the end result... We have still given up far too many big plays. We still struggle to be even a decent tackling team. And we lack discipline, and when the defense is so vanilla with the 4 man pass rush, lack of blitzing and such discipline and reliable tackling should be the biggest thing preached. 

It's just infuriating. Like I said, in theory it may make some sense, but in execution it hasn't worked, and he's been AWFUL at showing a willingness to adjust or try different things (and in multiple instances the few times there have been adjustment and doing things differently defensively there has been some decent success). At this point I would rather see an aggressive, more risky press man defense. Like the 4 man rush isn't working even remotely consistently but instead of trying to see if the talent we do have on the backend can help the pass rush by being more aggressive and manning guys up, playing to the DBs strengths Gunther just says well we are sticking with the 4 man rush that hasn't worked in ANY game to a high level AND we're going to ask our DBs to play a style of defense that doesn't fit their strengths at all. So then the entire defense is bad and there's no hope of it getting better unless during the middle of the season our DEs turn into 10 sack guys and we find at least one DT to turn into a 6 sack guy. Which just doesn't seem like something any NFL coach should be banking on when scheming up their defense. 

At this point I would rather see us become much more blitz heavy, I'm not saying most blitz heavy team in the league, but a significant increase over what we are doing now, and shift to a more press man defense primarily. If the 4 man pass rush isn't getting there, and the DBs are giving up constant and consistent easy completions, the tackling of the entire team is sub par, and we aren't a defense stacked with proven veteran talent, I would rather see us crank up the aggressiveness and see if playing to the DBs strengths (the "strength" of our defense IMO especially if they got to play the style of defense they seem suited to play ) can help the pass rush get home more often. I would rather see if playing more man could help the defensive backfield become more efficient, and maybe give Gunther the confidence to dial up some more creative blitzes. It's like he's stuck believing he can't blitz because the DBs won't hold up, while also playing the VAST majority of the time in zone where the DBs just don't look comfortable. And it just becomes a total mess. 

At least if we became more aggressive playing more to our DBs strengths, there's a chance the pass rush could benefit, there's a chance the backfield could see improved play and raise the confidence to dial up some creative blitz. Obviously it's also a team by team basis, like I liked the 3 man rush with a spy and deeper zone coverages against the Chiefs in the second half of the first game, that made sense. You don't want to give the Chiefs easy looks for quick strikes. But against other teams? Roll the dice, gamble a little, it's not like the defense can get a heck of a lot worse. And if we are more aggressive at least we have a chance at causing more turnovers, which we also aren't very good at though that to me is almost strictly scheme and not a lack of ability to cash in if the players are put in a position to secure turnovers. Right now were playing soft zone with no pressure and of course it rarely leads to turnovers, QBs are consistently throwing into wide open windows, or picking between multiple guys sitting in the middle of the zone for 10-15 yards. With no chance of a momentum changing play for our defense. If we are going to be bad, let's at least try some new stuff, let's at least do some things that could help us create more opportunities for our offense. How much worse could the defense legitimately get if we blitzed some more and played to our DBs strengths allowing guys to man up? I legitimately don't think any worse. The BIGGER plays we may give up slightly more often would be balanced out by the increase in negative plays.

Hiring, but especially keeping Gunther after last year is IMO the worst decision Gruden has made. The thing he deserves the most heat and criticism for. I saw nothing last year that made me think this defense was turning the corner. I saw nothing last year that made me think the light had gone on for Gunther and he was suddenly going to start forming a scheme that put our guys in a position to take advantage of their skills. I'll saw a stubborn poorly designed X's and O's play caller that was constantly bettered by the opposing playcallers, with no significant improvement in even simple things like fundamentals. I get trying to keep it simple for young guys, I usually think that's a good idea, but for guys like Mullen, Arnette, Johnson, etc simple IMO is letting them man up. Not sticking in a scheme so heavy on communication and feel for guys they've barely played with. Gruden should have pulled the bandaid off and made the transition after last season. I didn't see any upside to keeping him. And if we don't make the playoffs it will likely be that decision that is the main reason why. 

The vision on the defensive side has been confusing. Much more confusing than the offensive vision. But maybe that's just because Gruden is such an offensive guru. I don't think this defense has any star power, but I don't think its so devoid of talent that we should be this bad. I think in a lot of schemes additions like Littelton, KWit, Arnette, and Irving (could be the rust and whatnot but Gunther doesn't get the benefit of the doubt that he'll be used correctly with more playing time) could make a decent impact in terms of improving the defense over last year. Instead we have young guys that should be better than they were as rookies and some solid free agent additions that filled our biggest defensive hole producing a defense that doesn't look any better overall than a year prior. 

I don't care how the season ends, baring them turning into the 85 Bears, Gunther needs to be let go and replaced as priority #1. Dont waste another second letting that guy coach/scheme for any talent we will add on the defensive side this off season. But overall we have improved enough on offense and done a good job of restocking that side of the ball with a very high end offense I'm willing to give Gruden another crack at finding the right man for the DC job, and hopefully Mayock being involved may open up a couple more doors to guys outside of Gruden's typical coaching tree. 

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And all of that is coming from a guy that is notoriously optimistic about Raiders issues and is usually the biggest supporter of consistency and stability in the front office and coaching staff until it's proven they are the problem. And I understand the lack of off season and overall totally unique situation from the pandemic didn't help anything, but especially defenses in the NFL and even more so for teams relying on first and second year players in the NFL overall or in the scheme. And if they had shown a lot of flashes last season and took a step back this year I would definitely cut Gunther and the defense some slack. But they didn't show much last season in terms of Gunther scheme and ability to put guys in advantageous positions. And we haven't seen steady consistent improvement as the year has gone on, at least in any games where the weather didn't make teams more one dimensional or for more than a half of football. So I'm not going to assume covid and its effect are the culprit in the defense not making strides. At this point it's pretty clear to me and pretty much everyone else, Gunther might not be the ONLY issue on defense, but he's the main one. And he's downright refused to try and do some different things to at least see what happens and open up the possibility of saving his job. 

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It’s kinda wierd.... most of the draft picks and FAs haven’t “worked out”.... yet! Some like Kwiatkoski absolutely have- but even he has missed time with injuries. not to mention top guys like Trent Brown and Incognito have missed almost season.....

and yet we are remarkably a better team this year.  I know the records are the same but it’s obviously apparent watching the games were a much better team.  

I think in one Ruggs, Arnette, Simpson, And Robertson Will be just fine.  I think we just don’t need them to contribute yet.

What I find crazy is looking at our offensive stats.  Outside of Waller we don’t have any real big contributors.  It’s all a team effort and the ball is spread around so much.  Even Jacobs hasn’t been as good as last year.  He’s playing just fine (it’s obvious the OL missed Incognto and Brown) and I think he’s just about to hit stride.

it’s just a wierd year when you look at it through the lense of what we expected from various players individually versus what’s happened.! You’d expect we’re not playing very well as a team but we absolutely have.  I think the main reason is this offense has been sooooo efficient.  

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2 hours ago, jimkelly02 said:

It’s kinda wierd.... most of the draft picks and FAs haven’t “worked out”.... yet! Some like Kwiatkoski absolutely have- but even he has missed time with injuries. not to mention top guys like Trent Brown and Incognito have missed almost season.....

and yet we are remarkably a better team this year.  I know the records are the same but it’s obviously apparent watching the games were a much better team.  

I think in one Ruggs, Arnette, Simpson, And Robertson Will be just fine.  I think we just don’t need them to contribute yet.

What I find crazy is looking at our offensive stats.  Outside of Waller we don’t have any real big contributors.  It’s all a team effort and the ball is spread around so much.  Even Jacobs hasn’t been as good as last year.  He’s playing just fine (it’s obvious the OL missed Incognto and Brown) and I think he’s just about to hit stride.

it’s just a wierd year when you look at it through the lense of what we expected from various players individually versus what’s happened.! You’d expect we’re not playing very well as a team but we absolutely have.  I think the main reason is this offense has been sooooo efficient.  

Our offense is a good example that points to the idea that sometimes an elite WR makes a QB better in terms of stats, but makes the offense worse because the QB keys in on the elite wideout and forces things. Obviously the elite QBs don't have that problem when they have an elite pass catcher, but for example guys like Stafford with Megatron, Matt Shaub with Andre Johnson, Cutler with Marshall, McNabb with Owens, heck even Brees minus Thomas this year has led to some rough games offensively passing wise, but not any less team success. 

I'm not comparing Carr to any of those guys either, Carr has never had a truly elite WR. I'm just saying our offense this year is a prime example of how an offense can be high powered in terms of points, yards, 3rd down efficiency, etc without having one proven, high end WR. Obviously I'm not saying that those WRs make their teams worse or anything, I'm just saying as hard as it may be to take away an elite WR if the QB focuses too much targeting that WR it can be much less effective than a well run offense without any elite wideouts if the QB spreads it around and just focuses on finding the right matchup and targeting the open man. 

That's another thing Carr probably doesn't get enough credit for. He got knocked for perhaps not targeting Cooper enough while he was here, but I don't think that's the case. I think we would have been worse in 16 if Carr force fed Cooper 5 more targets a game. Carr typically does a very good job of putting our offense in a advantageous play pre snap, and as long as he's not feeling pressure or been hit a lot that particular game, he will go through his reads and find an open man without forcing things (though the past couple years he's been a little too conservative with only wanting to throw to wide open guys). 

It's also funny, Gruden traded for Bryant and traded for AB, signed Williams and said it was a clear priority that he wanted to have the best WR core in the league, literally none of those guys are still around for all intents and purposes and our WR core has decent long term potential with Ruggs and Edwards and such, but in terms of proven WR talent our WR core is what? Bottom third in the league at least. And yet our offense is extremely efficiency, extremely potent, and one of the best in the league overall. 

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Also.... Remember when people said Bryan  Edwards was going to step right in for the IR’d T.Willians and put up 700-1000 yards.....

and that Ruggs ABSOLUTELY could be a high volume target.... cuz what proof do you have he can’t be!?!

luckily Agholor stepped up and Carrs gotten hurt with just spreading the ball all over and capitalizing on a high percentage of scoring opportunities.

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I still think the world of Ruggs even if the stats aren’t there. I think he will finish strong and he keeps getting close to TDS and might be playing hurt. Gruden is trying to win now, and always depended on his vets. No surprise Ruggs hasn’t been featured as a rookie. 
 

Arnette- has been okay starter. Think he was drafting to play day 1. He’s in the Abram mold of a take no 💩 DB. Idk what is his ceiling, still think we shoulda traded down for value. 
 

simpson, Edwards, Amik - still unknowns. I guess team is better so rookies not forced into starting lineups in year 1. That’s why I like 8-10 men draft classes, better probability of hitting and more of a margin of error. would be nice if one of the 3 stepped up and started to ball out. 
 

bust- Bowden 

muse- not looking good. Might turn it around next year like someone people have been suggesting. Idk man, players in their mid 20s shouldn’t be so green. 3rd round picks should be held to a higher standard. 
 

Think Mayock assumed he would hit on all 7 of his picks and didn’t even bother looking at getting more picks or push for UDFAs

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On 11/26/2020 at 7:55 PM, jimkelly02 said:

Also.... Remember when people said Bryan  Edwards was going to step right in for the IR’d T.Willians and put up 700-1000 yards.....

and that Ruggs ABSOLUTELY could be a high volume target.... cuz what proof do you have he can’t be!?!

luckily Agholor stepped up and Carrs gotten hurt with just spreading the ball all over and capitalizing on a high percentage of scoring opportunities.

Edwards hasn't stepped in in that capacity, but let's not pretend anyone expected Agholor to have the impact he's had. That more or less makes it a wash/pleasant surprise from a vet.

 

As for Ruggs, I think we all have to be bluntly objective. He's got potential. But most people didn't have him as WR1 on the draft board, many having Jeudy, Lamb, and possibly Jefferson above him. Far too early to be hyper critical of Ruggs, but there is that part of me that finds his lack of touches concerning. I don't mean to say we should deviate from the flow of the offense for the sake of manufacturing touches to make fantasy players happy, mind you. That being said, what gives? 

One of my biggest concerns about Ferrell was the ungodly amount of talent on Clemson's D those years, and that Ferrell was benefiting from the talent disparity at the college level. Perhaps Ruggs is that guy- talented enough to make plays, but benefitting from Jeudy, Smith, Metchie, Harris, etc. a bit more than expected? There's a reason most people had some raised eyebrows when we took him, after all. To be clear, I am not calling him a bust yet- it's far too early to do that with a WR in a run heavy offense. But I think there's a lot of us who WANT him to be a superstar, and don't necessarily consider that he might just not be what we were expecting, especially right out of the gate. 

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42 minutes ago, ronjon1990 said:

Edwards hasn't stepped in in that capacity, but let's not pretend anyone expected Agholor to have the impact he's had. That more or less makes it a wash/pleasant surprise from a vet.

 

As for Ruggs, I think we all have to be bluntly objective. He's got potential. But most people didn't have him as WR1 on the draft board, many having Jeudy, Lamb, and possibly Jefferson above him. Far too early to be hyper critical of Ruggs, but there is that part of me that finds his lack of touches concerning. I don't mean to say we should deviate from the flow of the offense for the sake of manufacturing touches to make fantasy players happy, mind you. That being said, what gives? 

One of my biggest concerns about Ferrell was the ungodly amount of talent on Clemson's D those years, and that Ferrell was benefiting from the talent disparity at the college level. Perhaps Ruggs is that guy- talented enough to make plays, but benefitting from Jeudy, Smith, Metchie, Harris, etc. a bit more than expected? There's a reason most people had some raised eyebrows when we took him, after all. To be clear, I am not calling him a bust yet- it's far too early to do that with a WR in a run heavy offense. But I think there's a lot of us who WANT him to be a superstar, and don't necessarily consider that he might just not be what we were expecting, especially right out of the gate. 

Actually Jim called it before the season  that nelly would ball out. Props

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8 hours ago, MrOaktown_56 said:

Way too early to say on these guys. I thought 2018 was a bust and Kolton, Hurst, Parker (lol), and Key have all shown something.

Kolton was actually a great pick and even received a 3rd in a trade(which we blew on Bryant lol).... Hurst is a decent backup. Key is an end of a roster guy, and Parker is strictly a backup LT...

Kolton had all the traits, athletic and big, just needed to be coached up. Good job on the staff for the progress of Miller.... that’s how first rounders should be, athletic with traits, more power if they are refined with technique. 
 

that’s where Ferrell is Annoying. Guy will never be an elite athlete. You either are one or not, no coaching can enhance this aspect of someone game. Ferrell has to win with great technique. He’s not there yet, he does good against weak OTs but NFL full of studs. This isn’t college where you can get by with size. 

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On 11/27/2020 at 1:50 AM, Mr Raider said:

It's also funny, Gruden traded for Bryant and traded for AB, signed Williams and said it was a clear priority that he wanted to have the best WR core in the league, literally none of those guys are still around for all intents and purposes and our WR core has decent long term potential with Ruggs and Edwards and such, but in terms of proven WR talent our WR core is what? Bottom third in the league at least. And yet our offense is extremely efficiency, extremely potent, and one of the best in the league overall

Also Trevor Davis, Zay Jones, Switzer traded for. No doubt we've put effort into getting receivers into the facility but for none of them to work out at all is pretty terrible. Ruggs and Edwards are the two who could really take us to the next level though, we have a nice blend of different styles and strengths. We do tend to spread the ball around with our TEs and RBs too but if either Ruggs or Edwards can develop into a good #1 type receiver then we could be very difficult to defend and be a real top offense. We've got lots of options right now but no real great ones that can take over a game.

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On 12/2/2020 at 7:39 AM, Humble_Beast said:

Kolton was actually a great pick and even received a 3rd in a trade(which we blew on Bryant lol).... Hurst is a decent backup. Key is an end of a roster guy, and Parker is strictly a backup LT...

Kolton had all the traits, athletic and big, just needed to be coached up. Good job on the staff for the progress of Miller.... that’s how first rounders should be, athletic with traits, more power if they are refined with technique. 
 

that’s where Ferrell is Annoying. Guy will never be an elite athlete. You either are one or not, no coaching can enhance this aspect of someone game. Ferrell has to win with great technique. He’s not there yet, he does good against weak OTs but NFL full of studs. This isn’t college where you can get by with size. 

A lot of very good DL were never elite athletes. Michael Bennett, Justin Tuck, etc. All those guys helped their teams win superbowls. Ferrell needs to continue to become stronger and put moves and counters together. If he can do that, he can become a very good player.

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